Guest DJ—Josh Stallings

What do you do when one of your favorite LA crime authors writes “a ‘70’s glitter-rock disco heist novel”? You invite him over to your blog to spin some amazing music! Click the YouTube player up above and you’ll be treated to 16 songs hand-selected by Josh Stallings himself.

Josh Stallings is the author of the multi-award winning Moses McGuire crime novels, BEAUTIFUL, NAKED & DEAD, OUT THERE BAD and ONE MORE BODY. His latest novel, YOUNG AMERICANS, comes out Nov. 20—one week from today.

Here’s an excerpt from an interview that Josh and I did last June:

Young Americans

I saw you read  from YOUNG AMERICANS at the California Crime Writers Convention. What can you tell us about it? How does it differ from the Moses McGuire novels?

YOUNG AMERICANS is a Glitter Rock Disco Heist Novel set in 1976 San Francisco. It is a fun ride and a wonderful romp. One More Body (Moses #3) was the angriest novel I’ve written. And because it deals with kids sold into the sex-for-cash world, the anger was well placed. Erika (Josh’s wife) laughed when I told her YOUNG AMERICANS was light comedy. Ok, maybe it’s Josh light. I was a glitter rock kid, (Glam to most). All the young dudes and stunning dames would go to The City, a gay disco in S.F., and sniff poppers, munch Quaaludes and drink Cuba Libres. We’d dance and fight and fuck and generally act the fool. It has been wonderful to get to spend the last year back in those days.


And, if you’re in Los Angeles, don’t miss the YOUNG AMERICANS BOOK LAUNCH PARTY at Book Show on Sunday, Nov. 22. I’ll be there along with Josh, Danny Gardner and Tony Peyser.

S.W. Lauden’s debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, is available now from Rare Bird Books. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

Interrogation: Josh Stallings

josh-stallings-aboutWho: Josh Stallings

What: The author of the multi-award winning Moses McGuire crime novels, BEAUTIFUL, NAKED & DEAD, OUT THERE BAD and ONE MORE BODY. And YOUNG AMERICANS, a ‘70’s glitter-rock disco heist novel coming September 2015. His short fiction has appeared in Beat to a Pulp, Blood and Tacos, Shotgun Honey, Protectors Anthology #1 & #2, Crime Factory and more. He lives with his wife Erika, two dogs and a cat named Riddle.

Where: Los Angeles

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

You have published three novels featuring Moses McGuire, a suicidal strip club bouncer. How did you conceive of this character? How did you create his mix of interesting character traits?

beautiful-naked-and-deadI knew I wanted to write about thugs and drunks, strippers and criminals, wholesome types like I grew up with. I was raised in the counterculture, think Leave it to Beaver directed by Federico Fellini. In my teen years Martin Scorsese took over the helm. I write for the outsiders.

Years ago a smart ass NY agent told me I would sell BN&D if I gave it a clean-cut protagonist, someone people could see my world through. I’m sure he was correct, but I wasn’t writing it for him.

What the fuck was the question? Oh yeah, where did Moses come from. Moses’ chassis was built on the tarnished knight archetype of Raymond Chandler. His drunken bull in a Stop-N-Go echoes my love of James Crumley. His bullmastiff was borrowed from Andrew Vachss. I say steal from the best. His suicidal tendencies came from asking myself who was the scariest man in the room? The one who doesn’t give a fuck if he makes it home for Christmas. That and I know a lot about self annihilation and solo boxing. Not that I thought about any of this while writing it. I just started on page one and typed until it was done. Then rewrote and rewrote and rewrote… until the prose stopped sucking.

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